Stephen Colbert has the West Side covered; The New York Times just got the East. A slideshow feature headlined "Nashville's East Rebounds from Tough Times," just posted on the Times' Travel section, makes the case that East Nashville found a silver lining in the funnel clouds that buffeted the area 14 years ago:
The year 1998 was a significant one for East Nashville, an area that comprises several small neighborhoods directly across the Cumberland River from the Tennessee capital’s downtown. The locale, which had already fallen on tough times, got even shoddier when a tornado ripped through the community, wreaking havoc on its infrastructure . Yet, in hindsight, the disaster also brought opportunity. After an influx of insurance money, creative types began flocking to the area thanks to cheap rents; young entrepreneurs followed, slowly transforming it into a hub for Nashville’s culturally savvy.
As proof, writer-photographer Eric Been supplies photos of the Art & Invention Gallery ("pioneer of the area’s revival"), No. 308 ("already a favorite among East Nashville’s scenester set"), and The Wild Cow ("proves that Nashville cuisine is more than just barbecue"). Watch for Sunday's dead-tree edition.